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When the temperatures drop, everyone moves indoors to enjoy the heat and good company that are found at home. That means plumbing issues, both from the cold temperatures outside affecting your pipes, and from the friends and family who are visiting, celebrating, cooking, and otherwise living well in warm winter style. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we’re standing by to make sure you can keep enjoying, whether we’re called to help with frozen pipes, stuck kitchen drains, or any of these five winter plumbing problems and beyond.
General Strategies for Winter Plumbing Problem Survival
Our plumbing service has seen lots of winters and just about every kind of cold weather plumbing issue you can imagine. We love to provide solutions that will help you avoid trouble this winter, and in many cases, there are things you can do on your own to help. Just remember, our experience shows us what works, and we’d love for you to call us and make sure you can rely on your plumbing by having us take care of weather protection. Typical strategies include using heating tape that relies on your home’s power and uses a thermostat or timer to control its function. We also employ pipe insulation strategies, enclosed pipe runs to avoid exposing pipes to cold and wind, and convenient shutoffs and drains for infrequently used water supplies. Don’t forget your fire safety sprinkler systems, whether they’re in your attic or garage, if it gets cold enough they’re at risk.
- Frozen Pipes and Valves — Indoors
Depending on your home’s construction and the weather forecast for the winter, you may have reasons to think about your indoor pipes freezing. Unheated or poorly ventilated spaces, areas exposed by poor insulation or damaged windows, and pipes running in crawlspaces can all freeze and burst. We can inspect your home’s plumbing and identify issues you might not have thought of like these. We’ll answer your questions about pipe insulation, heating tape to keep pipes warm, and other solutions that can help avoid calling our emergency plumbing service.
- Frozen Pipes and Valves — Outdoors
Outdoor pipes and fixtures should be drained or heated to avoid freezing and resulting damage, plus possibly flooding later on when the pipes thaw. In some cases, pipes that run in outbuildings can be insulated and left running at a trickle when they’re turned on, then turned off when not in use. Hose connections and other external valves used for landscaping and outdoor activities generally should be shut off and drained, but our plumbing service can install self-draining faucets that are virtually maintenance-free, and also prevent oversights when winter cold comes early.
- Frozen Water Supply Lines
Generally, water supply lines are run deeply enough that they are protected from winter’s cold. In the case of prolonged deep freezes or shallow lines run over bedrock or other obstacles, it may be necessary to thaw or even repair your main water line. Our plumbing service can handle your water line problems, working in conjunction with the municipal water agency, and we’re also ready to deal with any issues that your well supply may have this winter. Our plumbing service has the resources and skills to make sure that your water supply pipe is thawed, repaired, and keeping you and your family comfortable as quickly as possible should anything happen.
- Clogged Kitchen Drains
Winter and the holidays mean lots of activity in the kitchen, and not everyone knows what does and doesn’t belong in the sink and garbage disposal. We get a lot of calls for stuck disposals, jammed drains, and even dishwasher issues that come from lots of festivities, lots of food prep, and lots of cleanup. Our plumbing service can also upgrade your appliances and replace your pipes for better results before your winter gets busy and social. We’re the ones to count on for remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms at any time of the year. Of course, where there are people cooking and socializing, bathrooms are in heavy use as well and we’re ready to respond to your toilet, shower, bath, and sink drain cleaning needs with our plumbing service.
- Water Heater Failure
You can never predict what time of year your water heater will fail, but since we’re more affected by hot water heater problems in the winter, they’re more memorable. In summer, we open the doors and windows and dry out from any flooding if the tank fails, and it’s easier to stand by while a failed unit is replaced or repaired. In the winter, everybody warms up with long hot showers, uses plenty of hot water in the kitchen preparing meals and cleaning up, and enjoys a relaxing bath after a long day enjoying the great outdoors. Count on our plumbing service to work quickly when you have problems with your water heater, and consider calling us for a hot water heater inspection, maintenance, and even replacement before the busy winter season arrives.
Beware of Standing Water and Slip-and-Falls
A bonus tip you may not have considered: overflow around outdoor drains when clogged by ice and leaves is a common problem. It can result from melting ice and snow, or worsened by burst pipe leakage. Either way, blocked outdoor drains can result in water backup into the basement or slippery outdoor surfaces as the water that should be going down the drain is spilling over driveways and walkways. Our plumbing service can help you come up with a more manageable solution in many cases, and it helps just to remember that outdoor drains need particular attention in the winter.
Call on bluefrog Plumbers to Repair Winter Pipe Problems and Avoid Them Altogether
The experts at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain plumbing service know your area and can help you identify risks of pipe damage before the cold temperature comes with a home plumbing inspection. Give us a call for all your plumbing repair and preventive plumbing needs.